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Diabetes Devices Up Close: The Dexcom G6

Dexcom G6

Adjusting to life with type 1 diabetes can be overwhelming. You may not have even known what blood sugar was before your diagnosis. You didn’t need to.

Now you’re learning how to monitor your blood sugar regularly, what to eat to keep your diabetes in check, what insulin is, what sliding scales are, and so much more.

Fortunately, there’s help in the form of medical devices for processing and monitoring all of this information. These devices do a lot of the heavy lifting of type 1 diabetes management so that you can live life without constant interruption or fear.

If you’re trying to choose the best device for you, Skin Grip has you covered. We’re featuring different devices on our blog, and today, we’ll cover the Dexcom G6, one of the most popular continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) out there.

What is the G6?

The Dexcom G6 is a continuous glucose monitor, a device that measures a patient’s blood sugar at consistent intervals. The G6 measures blood sugar every five minutes. This allows patients to have a constant update on their blood glucose, along with records of its trends up and down throughout the day, allowing them to respond immediately to changes and manage their blood sugar more effectively over time.

The G6 uses arrows to display whether your blood sugar is trending up or down, as well as a color system to indicate whether blood glucose readings are within or outside of the desired range.

Dexcom G6 users eagerly await the debut of the most updated version of the Dexcom, the G7. Similar to another CGM called the Freestyle libre, the Dexcom G7 will be a disposable system with a transmitter and sensor rolled into one. It is also supposed to be smaller than the Dexcom G6 by about 60% and offer increased accuracy.

How does it work?

While a traditional fingerstick device measures your blood glucose directly from your blood, the Dexcom G6 measures the amount of glucose in your blood indirectly. The G6 uses a sensor that is inserted just under the skin, where it can measure the glucose level in the interstitial fluid between your cells. It uses this data to calculate your blood glucose level every five minutes. This sensor remains on the body for up to ten days, without interfering with daily activities like showering, working, etc.

How do I use my Dexcom G6?

The G6 is attached to the skin with an adhesive, which secures the device onto a site of your choosing on the upper arm. A small filament in the device takes a reading of your body’s glucose levels and conveys those readings to another device, such as your smartphone, which displays the information in an easily readable form.

You don’t need to worry about taking the device on and off if you use a good Dexcom G6 adhesive patch. In fact, with the right adhesive, your sensor can stay firmly anchored in place for up to 10 days.

Your Dexcom G6 will come with a user’s guide, and you can also check out these video tutorials.

How much does it cost?

The cost of a G6 system will vary, depending on how much your insurance is willing to cover. Most people with type 1 diabetes and insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes will be covered by private insurance and Medicare to use the Dexcom G6. Without insurance, users can expect to spend approximately $6,000 per year for a Dexcom G6 system, including transmitters, sensors, and miscellaneous supplies, such as adhesive patches or tape for diabetic sensors.

Will my Dexcom G6 get in the way of my usual activities?

It doesn’t need to! People with type 1 diabetes can do most anything they want while wearing their diabetic sensors. The secret lies in finding a good adhesive patch or tape for your diabetic sensor. With a top quality adhesive securing your Dexcom, you can boat, shower, swim, or work up a sweat at the gym. That means you don’t have to worry about it following off, getting lost, and leaving you to purchase expensive replacements.

What are the key features of the Dexcom G6?

The Dexcom G6 shows the speed and direction of your glucose levels without a finger prick. Additionally, the G6 is compatible with Android and Apple products, allowing users to integrate their CGM into their other devices, like phones, tablets, and smartwatches.

The Dexcom G6 is also the only stand-alone CGM that is indicated for children. The G6 can be used by children as young as 2 years old. Because the Dexcom can sync with a variety of devices, parents can easily monitor their child’s blood sugar. Their app allows up to five devices to monitor a user’s blood glucose level.

Lastly, the Dexcom G6 allows users to set customizable alarms and notifications which will alert them when a user’s blood sugar is trending too high or too low. This makes staying on top of blood sugars simple, as the notifications remove the need to constantly check on current blood glucose levels.

How can I get a Dexcom G6?

You can pay for your Dexcom G6 out of pocket or run it through insurance. Start by getting a prescription from your physician. Interested users can navigate to Dexcom’s website and order directly through the company once they submit their prescription.

At Skin Grip, we work with products, podcasts, influencers, and charities that make life easier for people with diabetes. We’re proud to manufacture ultra-strong adhesives that help people keep their Dexcoms in place so they can live fully and fearlessly. Contact us for a free sample.